MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE 2) It looks like Typhoon “Chedeng” will spare the country from a direct hit, the weather bureau said Thursday.
Robert Sawi, chief weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said the eye or center of the typhoon was no longer expected to make landfall in the Philippines as a high pressure ridge to the north of the disturbance has dissipated, allowing the typhoon to change direction.
Instead of crossing the northeastern tip of Luzon, Chedeng is now expected to head straight for the south of Japan, Sawi said.
In its 5 p.m. weather bulletin, Pagasa said that Chedeng was seen 260 kilometers north-northeast of Virac, Catanduanes or 300 km east southeast of Casiguran, Aurora.
The typhoon is now packing maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometers per hour near the center and gusts of up to 210 kph. It is still moving north westward at 19 kph.
Storm signals have been lowered, with Signal No. 1 now in the provinces of Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Quirino, Albay, Aurora, Cagayan, Isabela and Quezon provinces including Polilio Island, Pagasa said.
However, Pagasa has advised residents living in low-lying areas and mountainous regions under Signal No. 1 to continue to take precaution against possible flashfloods and landslides. Likewise, those living in coastal areas are warned against possible storm surges and big waves generated by Chedeng, Pagasa said.
By Friday afternoon, Chedeng is expected to be 320 km northeast of Casiguran, Aurora or 200 km east northeast of Aparri, Cagayan. By Saturday afternoon, the typhoon is forecast to be 590 km northeast of Basco, Batanes or 190 km southwest of Okinawa, Japan, the state-run weather bureau said.
Chedeng is expected to leave the Philippine area of responsibility on Sunday.
Weather officials said, however, that Chedeng’s rain band would still affect parts of Northern and Central Luzon. These regions will experience rains until the weekend.